I This document written by Howard Scott, is the definitive source of information
on the antecedents of the Technocratic movement. That movements basis is
found in the Technocracy Study Course. It is open source material. This file is
an informative glimpse behind the scenes, into the basis and origins of
Technocracy. This is an original and unedited document by Technocracy
Incorporated. This file was re-presented in Sept. 2007 in Technocracy Incorporated CHQ
44.94 -93.29 Technocracy - The Design of the North American Technate.
also in the information site, technocracy-incorporated » home
This file was composed by skip sievert.
History and Purpose of Technocracy
This pamphlet consists of an exchange of letters between Director-in-Chief of Technocracy Inc., Howard
Scott, and J.K. Faulkner which was thought to be of interest to the public and was first published in The
Northwest Technocrat of July 1965 (No. 220) along with two articles referred to in Howard Scott's
J. K. Faulkner, assistant professor of economics at Western Washington State College, Bellingham,
Washington, while researching for a Ph.D. in Economics, had first contacted various Sections of
Technocracy Inc. in the northwest before writing his first letter to Howard Scott.
Howard Scott's careful and complete response to Faulkner's questions contain information about
Technocracy's history and purpose that is useful to a better understanding of Technocracy.
The Scourge of Politics In the Land of Manna and Political Schemes In Industry, ironically enough, are a
repudiation of the political objectives of the I.W.W. publication in which they were published, and
politics in all other forms. But, more important, the articles perceived the pattern of things to come --
the advanced engineering concepts which have since become Technocracy, the future design of social
operations for North America.
Mr. Howard Scott
Director and Chief
March 6, 1964
Dear Mr. Scott:
I expect by this time you have received a letter from Mr. Harry Briggs indicating my interest in
I am working on a Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Utah and I have taken as my dissertation
topic Technocracy. Technocracy has not received the attention in the professional literature that its
currency in the 1930's, 1940's should indicate. As a consequence of this, along with an interest in
Technocracy from my undergraduate days, I have decided that this is what I would like to do:
Trace the intellectual antecedents of this movement, and yourself in particular, for whatever
impress or contribution may have been relevant in its formation.
It is also important to indicate the history of the movement from the initial formation of the
Technical Alliance, to the first announcement of Technocracy on June 16, 1932 until present.
The other major factor which will probably be the most difficult is to indicate is the theory of
energy determinants, such that the economist as well as those that might pick up the thesis
might tell something about Technocracy.
With this rather brief outline indicating the general direction of the dissertation, I would hope that you
might help me in this task. The following represent questions which have plagued me, and while I am
sure many of them have been asked before by the press, it is important that you answer rather than
my being forced to go to these secondary sources.
1. What influence did Soddy have on your theory of energy determinants?
2. Do you feel in looking back over the period that Veblen, Bellamy, Frederick Taylor (scientific
management) had much influence on your outlook of scientifically run state?
3. How does the prediction of the inevitable collapse of capitalism compare with that of Marx?
4. Was there anything to the suggestion that you were active in the I.W.W.? (Outside of the two
articles that you wrote for the One Big Union Monthly.)
5. Members locally point out that there were attempts to take over your ideas and the organization
of Technocracy, and as a consequence of this it was incorporated. Could you tell me who was
involved in this attempt, and something of the groups that sprung up to ' 'compete" with
Technocracy after the break at Columbia in January, 1933?
6. If you are free to give me information on membership, both historically and currently, I would
appreciate having some idea of the relative figures both high and low between 1933 and
7. One of the recurring criticisms of the Technocrats was their refusal to indicate how the Technate
might be accomplished. Admitting that with the collapse of the price system, something like the
'Technate could be installed, why would it? What factors make it a feasible alternative? I am
primarily concerned here with a refusal of the Technocrat to concern himself with political action.
8. There were some reports that the Technocrats had in mind the use of physical force (Chicago,
April 1933) to accomplish their goal. I have found no explicit statement in any of your literature
indicating that you subscribe to it, but neither have I found a way of accomplishing the Technate
through political means. Could you elaborate directly on this?
9. Have you felt that Technocracy has had some influence on political affairs, despite your
disavowal of participation in them?
10. What response, if any, did you receive from the U.S. Government on your offer to put the
organization of Technocracy at their disposal during early 1942?
11. The major criticism that an economist makes of the technocratic distribution system is that it
has no theory of value, no demand theory. It also seems implicit in the technocratic system that
scale of the operation is not dealt with adequately. That is, it appears that you don't have to
worry about the size of the firm or the plant or the unit.
12. One suggestion that I ran into somewhere suggested the distribution system was somewhat like
the army. Could you comment?
I have been unable to find any theses that have been written on Technocracy.
If you have any knowledge of any being written, I would very much appreciate hearing about it. I am
thinking now of those that might be in the process. I have gone through the indexes and abstracts, but
have not found anything.
I would like very much to meet you. I hope that if I ever have more than two dimes to rub together
that I will be able to get back to Rushland.
As this study progresses, I may have additional questions which only you can answer, which I
respectfully hope that you will be able to do.
J. Kaye Faulkner
Instructor of Economics
(This letter of March 6, 1964 was followed by a letter of April 16, 1964. We have omitted the latter,
because it was essentially the same as the former, except that, curiously, it does not include question
number 4 of the March 6 letter.)
J. Kaye Faulkner May 15, 1964
Western Washington State College
Dear Mr. Faulkner:
Your letters of March 6th and April 16th, 1964, are at hand. Sorry that due to travel absence from CHQ
we have not answered your correspondence sooner. We'll try to make amends and, at least in the
preliminary correspondence, answer some of your questions.
In Section II, you state that it is important to indicate the history of the movement from the initial
formation of the Technical Alliance until the present. That is indeed, Mr. Faulkner, a tall order.
If Technocracy Inc. had the staff of " ' Time," ' ' Life," and Fortune," or the ghost writers available to
the President of the United States we could entertain a project of this magnitude without any qualms
whatsoever. But with our limited resources of personnel -- may I repeat -- that it is a large order.
We opened our first office in July 1918 at 107 Waverly Place, just two buildings off Washington Square,
New York City and in 1920 we took a whole floor at 23 West 35th Street. We still have at CHQ one of
the Keuffel-Esser drafting tables we had at 107 Waverly Place in 1918.
The Technical Alliance conducted its affairs under the direction of a temporary committee, with Sullivan
W. Jones, Secretary. The temporary organizing committee was composed of the following:
Howard Scott, Chief Engineer
Frederick L. Ackerman, Benton Mackaye,
Carl L. Alsberg, Leland Olds,
Allen Carpenter, Charles P. Steinmetz,
M. D. Electrical Engineer
L. K. Comstock, Richard C. Tolman,
Electrical Engineer Physicist
Stuart Chase, John Carol Vaughan,
C. P. A. M. D.
Alice Barrows Fernandez, Thorstein Veblen,
Bassett Jones, Charles H. Whitaker,
Electrical Engineer Housing Expert
Sullivan W. Jones, Secretary
(The above taken from the original leaflet printed in 1919 by the DePamphilis Press of New York.)
I was on this committee, as you will notice, as Chief Engineer and Executive Director. It might be
interesting to give some of the background of the members of the organizing committee:
Frederick L. Ackerman was a well-known architect, designer of buildings for Cornell University, big
apartment buildings, etc., etc. Dr. Carl L. Alsberg was chief chemist of the Bureau of Chemistry,
Department of Agriculture; Washington, D.C. Allen Carpenter was a prominent doctor practicing in New
L. K. Comstock was head of Comstock Company, the largest electrical contractors in the New York area
and later the firm that had the entire contract for wiring and lighting the 1939 New York World's Fair.
Stuart Chase was originally employed in a government department, Washington, D.C. Dr. Alice Barrows
Fernandez was Deputy Director of United States Department of Education in Washington, D.C. Bassett
Jones was a member of the firm of consulting engineers, Myers, Strong and Jones, consulting to
General Electric, Otis Elevators, etc., etc., and co-developer with Clarence Birdseye of the Frozen Food
Process. Robert H. Kohn, was president of the American Institute of Architects.
Benton Mackaye originally was in the Department of Forestry of the United States and he worked for a
time in the office of the Technical Alliance.
He later formulated and promoted and was the father of the Appalachian Trail.
His brother was Percy Mackaye, poet and dramatist. Leland Olds was a statistician who became the first
secretary of the New York State Power Authority and later was appointed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt
to be Federal Power Administrator of the United States in his administration. Charles P. Steinmetz of
the General Electric needs no further elaboration.
Dr. Richard C. Tolman was professor of physics at the University of Illinois, and during the latter part of
World War I and at the time of the Technical Alliance was director of the Fixed Nitrogen Research
Laboratory in Washington, D.C. He later became Dean of Physics at the California Institute of
Technology and when World War 11 began President Roosevelt made him Atomic and Scientific
representative of the United States on the Combined Chiefs of Staff of United States and Great Britain.
John Carol Vaughan was a noted surgeon, head of Vanderbilt Clinic and chief surgeon of one of New
York's hospitals. Thorstein Veblen, of course, you are well acquainted with. He was an educator and
occupied various academic positions during his professional career, the last of which was at the New
School of Social Research in New York City. Charles H. Whitaker was editor at that time of the Journal
of American Institute of Architects.
Early in 1920, the Technical Alliance took a whole floor at 23 West 35th Street. It is interesting to note
in passing that these same premises were occupied by a Section of Technocracy in the middle 30's.
During our tenure at 23 West 35th Street, Stuart Chase, Benton Mackaye and others worked in the
offices of the Technical Alliance. It is also interesting to note that Mrs. Agnes Delima was my secretary
and stenographer in the Technical Alliance office at that time. She later became secretary of the
corporation of the New School of Social Research, and served until her retirement a couple of years
During the time that we occupied the quarters at 23 West 35th Street, we received considerable
publicity in interviews published in the New York World and New York Call Magazine and other papers
and periodicals at that time.
We have full page originals in our scrap books here at CHQ.
This publicity, while it could not in anyway be compared to the publicity of the 30's, still for that time
was considerable. Some of it was done by Charles W. Wood, one of the best feature writers of the day,
and interviewer of such public figures as Ford, working with Collier's and Saturday Evening Post. It was
during this period that we took on several research projects. The largest, the most financially lucrative,
was the job for the Railroad Brotherhood, which occurred at the time of the Plumb Plan, and it
succeeded in breaking the front page of the New York Times.
Stuart Chase and Otto Byers were the chief workers, the leadmen on this project.
Otto Byers was a professional engineer with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, whom Franklin Roosevelt
later appointed Deputy Administrator of the Office of Defense Transportation of the United States.
Another project which we undertook, of lesser magnitude than the one of the Railroad Brotherhood,
was for the Industrial Workers of the World. We still have here at CHQ two long blueprints listing the
interlocking of over three thousand corporations of the big five packers -- all totally owned; equally
impressive, of all those in which the five owned 50 percent or more.
The Railroad Brotherhood and I.W.W. were merely clients of the Technical Alliance and paid for the
services rendered. So therefore, referring to your question #4, of March 6, 1964: ' 'Was there anything
to the suggestion that you were active in the I.W.W. outside of the two articles you wrote for the One
Big Union Monthly," may I say your information is incorrect. I never was active in the I.W.W. or in any
organization, labor union or political party, nor was I ever a member.
The two articles in the One Big Union Monthly were not written for the One Big Union Monthly, but were
written prior to this, at the time of President Wilson's " ' Fourteen Points," which you will find
enumerated in the first article.
The reason for the publication in the One Big Union Monthly was that the Chairman of the Board of
I.W.W. thought as they were engaging us in a research project, they should have something on which
to publicize their relationship and their necessary expenditures.
We said we knew of some articles and they seemed to be satisfied with them. We never heard from the
One Big Union Monthly after that.
In Question #1, you ask what influence Soddy had on our theory of " "energy determinants.
We derive most of our concepts of thermodynamics and energy determinants from the works of J.
Willard Gibbs, and we had formulated most of our concepts of modulus and calculus of design prior to
our coming in contact with Soddy's Wealth, Virtual Wealth and Debt in 1927.
Frederick Soddy was a chemist and scientist, completely unknown to us, as we were unknown to
Soddy formulated his ideas in the British scientific and academic world of his time.
He starts out on the correct course, and then gets lost in the muddle of values shortly after page 100,
and he loses his original direction and analysis in the mass of money and economic values.
Soddy himself, in a newsreel interview taken in his office and laboratory, presented in the early 30's a
very nice admission and commendation for the development of Technocracy in the United States. This
newsreel, I believe, was a Fox Movietone. We wish Soddy had gone on as he first started, as a chemist
and thermodynamicists and we feel that he would have reached, ultimately, the same conclusions we
had arrived at.
Question #2 asks, ' ' do you feel in looking back over the period that Veblen, Bellamy, Frederick Taylor
had much influence on your outlook of a scientifically run state?"
We had never read Veblen, nor had we any contact with him until September 1918. He published a
series of articles in the ' "Dial Magazine" in 1919. We had had a series of conferences and seminars in
1919 in which Veblen and others brought the economists and sociologists, and we brought the scientists
and engineers. The last five Veblen articles appeared in the ' ' Dial Magazine" from May 31, 1919, page
55, to November 1, 1919, page 373.
We objected to Veblen's interpretation at that time and his advocacy of a Soviet of Technicians, taking
the position that social change on this Continent would not be analogous to social change anywhere else
in the world. The ' ' Dial Magazine" went out of existence as a magazine of public affairs and became a
magazine of poetry and culture, and the Johnsons, publishers, took safaris in Africa. Osa appeared in
many of the African photographs.
Veblen faded out of the picture in New York after he left the New School of Social Research, and
declining health limited his activities. At least his insight into many things was quite interesting.
Whether he would have gone on and been able to envisage an operating social mechanism of a
technological socialization for the distribution of abundance, in all kindness, we cannot say.
Bellamy was an artist and did a lovely job in his ' ' Looking Backwards" and his other book, " ' Equality."
But we would like to point out that Jules Verne in his book, ' 'Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the
Sea," envisaged a marvelous submarine. The book was so intriguing that it enjoyed a world-wide sale.
Nevertheless, no naval architect or designing engineer would attempt to design a submarine from Jules
Verne's artistic concepts displayed in his ' 'Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea." It just wouldn't
The same can be said of Edward Bellamy. Edward Bellamy's was an idealistic projection. He had the
intuitive feeling of the artist, but it also was entangled in human beings on the theory they could be
elevated to such a high degree of perfection in their moral and ethical values that a new society could
be made to function on the essence of their betterment.
Frederick W. Taylor developed his theories of scientific management while working at the Midvale Steel.
Out of his Midvale Steel experiments with time studies and that big husky Dutchman that he had as
lead man in his pig iron gang at Bethlehem Steel, Frederick Taylor came up with a set of guide rules on
how management could obtain greater productivity from labor by making human labor more efficient.
Taylor's series of scientific time studies and measurements of work (human effort), scored quite a hit in
the era preceding World War I and just after World War 1.
A number of engineers became so-called disciples of Frederick W. Taylor, even though he had passed
on to his reward in 1915. A considerable number of engineers took up the so-called scientific
management of Frederick Taylor and further embroidered it and publicized themselves as efficiency
engineers and management consultants. Henry L. Gant had been Taylor's assistant at the Midvale Steel
and the Bethlehem Steel Company. Gant, Morris L. Cook, Leffingwell, Emerson, H. K. Hathaway, Frank
B. Gilbreth, Harlow S. Person and C.J. Barth were among the many prominent advocates of Taylor's
efficiency system with some variations.
Gant, Barth and others tried to start an organization, ' 'The New Machine." ' 'The New Machine" never
got off the ground; all of them wrote articles and delivered papers in the engineering societies and
management conferences. But their chief purpose was in creating a national image so they could sell
their services to large-scale private enterprise as scientific managers and efficiency engineers who
would be able to install the system that could extract more productivity from the American worker.
We never had any use for Taylor or any of the efficiency or scientific management crowd. They never
realized that human toil was the last thing in the world you had to be efficient about; the only way to be
really efficient is to eliminate it entirely, and this would have been heresy to any of the Taylor, Gant,
Barth, Cook efficiency crowd.
It is sad to contemplate that men of the technical ability of the names mentioned in this paragraph
were so lame in their thinking and social outlook that they missed the boat so completely. Who in hell
wants to be efficient with a shovel, and what sense would there be even if you succeeded? They should
have had their heads opened with a shovel; it might have been more effective.
The formulation of our concepts began prior to World War I and during World War I and developed from
Some interesting examples: We had already developed our Continental Accounting system with our
geographical division numbers, namely, a combination of the latitude and longitude of the southeast
corner of a quadrangle, giving you an accurate location of any place on the Continent or the world
without respect to political boundaries, place names or languages.
This in conjunction with the conductivity characteristics of carbon coding with a modified Dewey decimal
system enables one to devise a Continental accounting system and medium of distribution, becoming at
once a Continental accounting system and continuous inventory of both production and distribution on
an hourly basis, Continent-wide.
You have to bear in mind, of course, that the system was devised before computers were developed to
handle the instantaneous computation necessary under this system.
We preceded the computers by some years. We brought out our million and a half volt D.C. power
transmission in 1923. We brought out our calendar prior to that, in 1921 and 1922. We are stating this
merely to give you some idea of the periodicity of the development of events of the organization and its
Question #5 asks, ' " Members locally point out that there were attempts to take over your ideas and
the organization of Technocracy and as a consequence of this it was incorporated."
The incorporating papers of Technocracy Inc. were originally drawn up in the fall of 1932. This was
done primarily to restrain the terrific flood of unauthorized material, from every writer from the far right
to the far left attempting to climb aboard the bandwagon. The granting of the charter of incorporation
of Technocracy Inc. was delayed for some months due, apparently, to political pressures brought to
bear in Albany, the capital of the state of New York.
We regret that the charter was not issued in '32 as we originally intended; it would have saved a
considerable number of headaches. The incorporating organization charter was secured by the law firm
of Cadwallader, Wickersham and Taft of New York City.
The incorporation of Technocracy had nothing to do with any attempt on the part of any group to take
over Technocracy or to use your own words, ' ' compete with Technocracy." A meeting was held in the
Hotel Morrison in Chicago, Illinois, in the last part of June, 1933; this was prior to our break, so-called,
with Columbia University. There were, at the time of the Chicago meeting, over 20 different
organizations of technocracy on the map, from a duly incorporated political party in the state of Illinois,
to an Institute of Technocracy in California, and various other organizations; also included in so-called
1 "Technocracy" were organizations from New York, Minneapolis, and the All-American Technological
Congress of Chicago, to name but a few.
There were several magazines and newspapers being published without any authorization or connection
with us whatsoever. Gernsbeck in New York; one in color, printed in Minneapolis; the ' "Technocracy"
of Obispo Beach in California, and many others. The competition which you speak of began with the
burst of publicity in 1932, but the competition did not become politically organized until some time
later. That is a whole story in itself. The amount of material that one has to wade through to document
it is beyond the time at my disposal in writing to you at this moment.
In question #3 you ask, " ' How does the prediction of the collapse of capitalism compare with that of
Technocracy never had any philosophical predictions on the inevitable collapse of capitalism.
The Marxian political philosophy was a condemnation of the ills of so-called capitalist society and a
propaganda political document that all wealth was created by work, labor and toil, a theme which he
sums up in his " "Workers of the World Unite." Marx, of course, envisaged abolition of one estate and
the creation of another, and that the capitalist class should be expropriated and the workers be installed
as the new social elite in a socialist world.
Technocracy Inc. has never held any brief for the so-called ' ' capitalist class," or for that matter for any
proprietary interest or group in our social structure. Marx only wanted to eliminate the so-called
exploiting and owning classes. We contend that it is hardly worth undertaking.
What Technocracy has always contended is that if sufficient energy consuming devices are installed and
the total amount of extraneous energy consumed per capita reaches or exceeds 200,000 kilogram
calories per capita per day, toil and workers alike will be eliminated, and, when toil is eliminated, the
bourgeoisie will likewise go down the drain of history.
Technocracy has always contended that Marxian political philosophy and Marxian economics were never
sufficiently radical or revolutionary to handle the problems brought on by the impact of technology in a
large size national society of today. It is sufficiently revolutionary to be of some importance and
temporary application to under-developed areas of the globe. We have always contended that Marxian
communism, so far as this Continent is concerned, is so far to the right that it is bourgeois.
It is well here to bear in mind; the technological progression of the next 30 minutes invalidates all the
social wisdom of previous history.
Technology has no ancestors in the social history of man. It creates its own.
We could give you the energy calculations in many examples, but that takes paper and time. A simple
one in agriculture: In order to handle the food production where the costs are lowered and to where the
speed is so great that it becomes applicable to large scale production, concepts and design factors go
beyond anything that the Russians or Chinese have ever attempted, because they base their concepts
on the collaboration of human beings and the values of human toil and hand tools, although they were
trying to adapt these concepts to the introduction of mechanical means.
Neither Russia nor China has as yet developed the design to handle even the production of wheat in
their area, let alone other commodities. The knowledge is here; and it has been done, their design
factors have been proven. It requires more energy per minute than has ever been employed in the
cultivation of the soil anywhere in the world in history, and even without further development, one unit
now in existence plants and fertilizes 70 acres of wheat per hour. You cannot do it with human beings
on the land. You have to move the human being off the land to make way for powerful equipment which
is not yet in quantity production any place on the globe.
In question #8, you state there were some reports that Technocracy had in mind the use of physical
force (Chicago, 1933) to accomplish their goal. We know of no such meeting in April of 1933 in Chicago.
It did not exist. There has never been any statement from Technocracy that force ever was
We have stated at the very beginning we would never ask the public of this Continent to engage in
either ballots or bullets. That has always been our basic proposition. Technocracy Inc. is not a political
party; it does not run candidates for political office, nor does it accept for membership any one who is a
member or officer of any political party, right, left or center.
Voting is not construed as membership in a political party. Technocracy Inc. is in the nature of a
membership organization, of social consultants; its basic concepts and design are really an attempt to
found a science of geo-mechanics, a science of how to operate large areas of this earth's surface,
beneath and above. United States has in excess of 12 billion h.p. of installed prime movers in use
Only seven percent of that 12 billion are in use in all manufacturing, mining, railroading, and central
stations. Approximately 93 percent are in automotive vehicles. If the amount of percentage of prime
movers in use in all production and physical distribution were doubled, there would be 20 million adult
human beings in United States who would no longer be required in the production and distribution of
so-called physical wealth in these United States. It wasn't Marxian communism that stopped the
advance of the fascist armies of Western Europe in Russia from 1941 to 1945 -- it was the application
of modern technology to their productivity and military equipment.
They lost 10 years in their doctrinaire schismatic conflicts within their party and their administration. If
they had had the advantage of 10 years of planned technology, one could only contemplate that their
technology would have been so effective that there would have been no fascist residue left to stir up
further conflicts in all of Western Europe.
Understand, human toil and hand tools, from at least Hammurabi's time (about the 19th Century, B.C.)
down to the present time, the annual increment of physical production, under human toil and hand
tools was so small that it required a century to amortize the principal and interest of any major debt.
Therefore, without technology, there would be no possibility of any social renovation, only a
perpetuation of human toil and hand tools. The capital re-investment rate under human toil and hand
tools occurred once in a century. Today, in the United States we have technological equipment that, if
operated at 75 percent capacity or more, will amortize out its total indebtedness in 5 1/4 weeks,
thereby rendering possible a capital re-investment rate of 964 times in a century.
Technocracy Inc. has seen the need for designing the operating system in any social mechanism of
tomorrow when the total number of energy consuming devices compels the re-orientation of the entire
operating factors of a Continent-wide social system.
To merely expropriate the exploiting and owning classes is merely a change of legal title and one in this
technological age of unimportance and futility. There is nothing, whether it is railroads, transportation,
highways, power transmission, continental hydrology, pollution, soil erosion, sewage, machines for
living — there is not a single design proposition today that would have validity tomorrow.
There is no sense taking over the ownership of such obsolescence; you would be compelled to operate
the obsolescent antiquity under the same losses, the same headaches and same defeats as they do
It is only when the load factors of operations and complete design are altered according to energy
factors that a resultant comes about which would be beyond the dreams of all social philosophers, one
wherein the planned operation of the whole is many times greater than the sum of its parts.
Technocracy, not being a political party or a conspiratorial body, has never had any intention or any
wish to assume power, political power that is, in this Price System. We have never had and never will
have any theory of assumption of political power. After all, the consulting engineers that design the
great suspension bridges, or any other work, do not make the working drawings, nor do they fabricate
any of the materials.
The design materials are fabricated by different organizations or erecting companies, who erect the
But the orders today are given by the fiat power and economic power of the political state and its
Technocracy has proposed the design of almost every component of a large scale social system. True, it
would require a technological orchestration of all physical operating factors, but a technological
socialization is far more reaching, more drastic and more pervasive than anything that Marx or any
socialist ever thought of.
So, as you continue in your study of Technocracy, you will find that it is incorrect to view us as being in
any way analogous to any party or political philosophy, or to any agitators of social change for any
We have never advocated social change.
We have pointed out the factors that would create it and have come pretty close to predicting its
arrival, but that is an entirely different thing than advocating social change per se, for social change's
You will find it extremely difficult to change from sociologic and economic thinking to one of
Technocracy; it is well to realize here and now that Technocracy, like science, has no truth; truth is a
philosophic absolute, while in Technocracy all things are relative.
We are concerned with the consumption and control of energy and the energy consuming devices and
their resultant production and consumption, which are all measurable, and have nothing whatsoever to
do with truth or philosophic values.
You will find that all the values that you or any other person have acquired regarding culture, art and
the humanities, may be interesting to talk about, but have little use in designing any comprehensive
system of tomorrow that can be controlled; we are not talking now of police control -- we are talking of
technological control; nor do we mean regulation.
Regulation, of course, comes in after the origination, after something is started, but control comes in at
the beginning or origination.
The subjective entities of personal living are undoubtedly better in the United States of 1964 than they
are in many parts of the world and, of course, much better than they were 64 years ago. It is always
interesting to be able to engage in interminable- discussions regarding this, but the problems that
United States faces have been cumulative and are no longer soluble by the considered opinion of
conscientious, right thinking people. The considerations of yesterday regarding the conduct of human
affairs dealt with, primarily, the regulation or coercion of the behavior of human beings so as to
promote a stable society of their time.
Therefore, all social systems of the past have been governments of men over men, of laws (not physical
laws — legal) for preferred exploitation of human beings and the national resources of their area.
With the technological application of physical science involving ever-increasing energy consuming
devices and technological equipment, the system of tomorrow will be a system of operation and control
of energy and things, wherein decisions will have to be rendered as the closest approximation of the
next most probable energy state, made at the speed of energy transmission and not awaiting the
deliberation of one good man and true, or a thousand.
Their deliberations would take too long, and the mechanism would be out of control.
This is being ironically brought home every day in the corporate world of the present, especially those
that install the latest computers. Computers can solve practically all of the problems of the corporate
entity, except the most urgent one, that of finding someone who can ask the computer an intelligent
question that involves direction and design.
Thanking you for your interest, I remain,
Very truly yours,
August 17, 1964
Howard Scott, Director in Chief
Dear Mr. Scott:
I very much appreciate your letter of May 15, 1964.
It was very kind of you to take the time away from your duties to answer a very long and detailed
series of questions. It is too bad that I cannot get back east or that you will not be making a continental
tour into the Pacific Northwest states so that we might sit down and talk about this, exchanging ideas in
such a way that I could get a better idea of what you have in mind.
There are, however, still several questions which remain unanswered which I was not able to
incorporate at the time I wrote the letter of March 6, 1964. The first question has to do with the
contribution, if any, of William Smythe. There were several newspaper articles or short announcements
which alluded to Smythe's origination of the word ' "Technocracy."
This was found in three articles in Industrial Management. The first was ' "Human Instincts in
Reconstruction," in February of 1919. The second, 'Technocracy. National Industrial Management,"
March 1919; and thirdly, ' 'Technocracy, Ways and Means to Gain Industrial Democracy, May 1919. Did
Smythe contribute in any way to the thought of what was later to be Technocracy, Inc.?
In one of several book reviews on Harold Loeb's Life in a Technocracy a reviewer suggested that it was
a pale Looking Backward. This is the important justification for raising the question: Did you feel at the
time that Harold Loeb's book in any way represented the possible vision of how life in a Technocracy
might be and would become?
The third question is in part the response to your answer to question number two on page four with
regards to Veblen. If Veblen did not influence your thought, do you think that you influenced Veblen's
thoughts and the articles which appeared in Dial magazine?
Fourthly: Was Technocracy incorporated in the State of New York?
The fifth question, in reference to the earlier question number eight in my letter of March 6 and
answered on page eight of your letter, is in regard to the use of physical force. I mentioned Chicago
1933 in April of that year. I was mistaken on the date. It was June of 1933 and it was during the
Continental Convention on Technocracy. You were quoted as saying, ' 'Technocracy would gain its end
by use of force and bayonets."
Another factor which has struck me as being of some consequence has been the similarity between the
organization chart of the Technate and the Wobbly Wheel. I also notice that in a pamphlet put out by
the All America Technological Society in 1933 that their organizational structure would fit somewhere
between the two. Would you care to comment on this?
A seventh question, which seems to me to be quite important, was the one having to do with whether
you influenced FDR at all during World War II. And here I have in mind the ads which appeared in a
number of newspapers and apparently over the radio calling upon FDR to appoint you Director General
of Defense. I would like to restate question number twelve, March 6. I ran into the suggestion that your
distribution system was somewhat like the Army. Would you comment on this? This is of primary
importance to me because of the question of value in a distribution system.
I have been unable to find any thesis or books done on Technocracy which would take an objective
position with respect to its contribution, its theory, and so on, from an outsider's viewpoint. That is to
say, most all of the contributions have been either for or against rather than taking a neutral middle
stance in a scientific objective way. Do you have any such information which might aid me in my
endeavors to research this particular problem? It does seem that something like this should have been
done earlier and as a consequence I would like very much to have access to such information if it is
Question nine: Were there any members of Technocracy Inc., who moved from the IWW into
Technocracy from the latter part of 1932 until the early 40's. Did any Wobblies find any satisfaction in
the Technocratic Movement? I have in mind Ben H. Williams. I am not sure he is the same Ben Williams
who was active in the IWW but I do know that there was a man called Ben H. Williams in both
movements. Would you care to comment on this and would there be any other people who might be
involved in both movements.
Question ten: While I don't really feel that a membership in and of itself either lends support to an
argument or to an idea I would like to include something about membership figures if you feel free to
release them. Historically is my primary concern. If you don't feel that you want to bring it up to date
that is fine, but I would like to have some idea of the membership from 1932 until 1940 or 1945 if you
are so inclined.
J. Kaye Faulkner
Assistant Professor of Economics
November 25, 1964
Mr. J. Kaye Faulkner
Western Washington State College
Dear Mr. Faulkner:
Your letter of August 17 landed in here in the midst of one of our busiest periods. During August and
September we have a considerable number of visitors every year to CHQ, those on vacation with time
available and on the long holiday weekend of Labor Day. CHQ had over 30 guests over the holiday
weekend. To house and feed that number, additional to the Staff, is of course, somewhat of a project in
In your letter of August 17, 1964, you state that your first question ' ' has to do with the contribution, if
any, of William Smythe." There were several newspaper articles or short announcements which alluded
to Smythe's origination of the word, ' 'Technocracy." This was found in three articles in Industrial
Management. The first was ' "Human Instincts in Reconstruction," in February of 1919. The second,
1 'Technocracy, National Industrial Management," March 1919; and thirdly, ' 'Technocracy, Ways and
Means to Gain Industrial Democracy," May 1919. Did Smythe contribute in any way to the thought of
what was later to be Technocracy Inc.?
Years ago we did some checking, and we found that the word ' 'Technocracy" was not originated as a
word either by us or by William Smythe, but had been used by five other persons back as far as 1882.
But all of the ones who had used ' 'technocracy," including Smythe, had never used it as a definition
and a name of a system of technological design and operation of a Continent. As far as we know, we
never had any personal contact with William Smythe, nor did we have any knowledge of his having
written articles in which he used the word until several years later.
Our use of the word came about because we tried to find a word which was descriptive, and in
reviewing the origin of the words ' 'democracy," ' 'autocracy," ' 'plutocracy," we found --
democracy" (using the combination of the Greek root word ' ' demos") -- the rule of many;
' 'plutocracy" -- the rule of wealth; and ' 'autocracy" -- the rule of one; we picked on the combination
of ' 'technocracy" to mean the rule of science and skills.
This was our approach, and we were not concerned as to whether we were the originators of the word,
because that is a common process that can be easily arrived at by any one who has the knowledge of
Greek root words.
So far as we know, Smythe was associated with, if not part of, the Scientific Management Efficiency
Engineers and the Taylor Society that came out of World War 1. As we had nothing in common with
efficiency engineering and scientific management we therefore were unconcerned as to how the word
was used by others.
We were only concerned with our own use of the word. After all we were creating a unique idea and we
wanted a name for it, and ' 'Technocracy" was the name we decided upon. Our decision was not
influenced by any of the writers of the time. We were too busy formulating the principles of design and
the mathematics of area energy operations to have much time left to be concerned with anything else.
In the third paragraph of your letter of August 17, you state, ' ' in one of several book reviews on
Harold Loeb's Life in a Technocracy a reviewer suggested that it was a pale Looking Backward." You ask
the question, ' 'did you feel at the time that Harold Loeb's book in any way represented the possible
vision of how life in a Technocracy might be and would become?"
Back at the time that Harold Loeb was seeking a publisher for his book, three publishing firms turned
down the publication because Technocracy refused to approve the manuscript in any way, shape or
form. Harold Loeb was never a member of Technocracy. He later tried to get in on the action when he,
Felix Fraser and Montgomery Schuyler tried to start the Continental Committee on Technocracy. They
attended the convention at the Hotel Morrison in June of 1933. They afterward attempted to tour across
the United States to organize a spurious Technocracy.
The Roosevelt administration set up in New York a National Potential Product Capacity Survey. Harold
Loeb, Felix Fraser, Montgomery Schuyler and others were employed on this federal project, and
therefore had United States federal payroll numbers.
It is well to note here that the Roosevelt administration in giving birth to the New Deal did its best to
grace the arrival of its new political child and vest it with a semblance of social vision, by drawing into
the administration every erstwhile Technocrat or one-time associate of mine.
The list is a long one — Leon Henderson was made Federal Price Administrator. Leland Olds was made
Federal Power Administrator. Otto Byers was made Deputy Administrator of the ODT (Office of Defense
Transportation) of the United States. Otto Byers was a professional engineer in the employ of the
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
He and Stuart Chase were the chief researchers of the Technical Alliance, in doing the report, submitted
by the Technical Alliance to the operating Railroad Brotherhoods of United States. Dr. Richard T. Tolman
was made Atomic Representative of the Combined Chiefs of Staff of United States and Great Britain.
Stuart Chase, Bassett Jones, Frederick Ackerman, Harold Loeb, Felix Fraser, Montgomery Schuyler, Dal
Hitchcock and many others were all on the federal payroll of the Roosevelt Administration. John
Carmody was head of Rural Electrification and later of the Maritime Commission, and last but not least,
in charge of distribution of funds in Europe of the EAC, the European Advisory Commission, in the
distribution of Marshall Plan Funds.
There are many others, but it would take too long to enumerate them all and their various positions.
Harold Loeb was only one of a number who attempted to jump into the parade and cash in on it,
whether for monetary reasons or reasons of prestige, we do not know, and we do not care.
But he was only one of a thousand or more who attempted to effect a similar attachment to
Technocracy. His book is a piece of imaginary fiction and the kindest thing we can say is that Bellamy
did far, far better many years ago, but both Looking Backward and Loeb's Life in a Technocracy have
nowhere in their pages the modulus and calculus of the design of an operating technological mechanism
for the Continent of North America.
The third question of the first page of your letter of August 17 is if Veblen did not influence your
thought, do you think that you influenced Veblen's thoughts and the articles which appeared in the Dial
I first met Thorstein Veblen in the early fall of 1918 at the old Faculty Club of Columbia University. I
was introduced to him and to half a dozen others by Montgomery Schuyler, and Merrill Rogers who was
advertising manager of the Dial Magazine at the time. As a result of the first meeting with Veblen, Dr.
Horace Kellen, Dr. Wesley C. Mitchell, Dr. Johnson (later to head the New School for Social Research),
Dr. James Harvey Robinson, Miller and others, it was proposed that a series of seminar dinners be held
in which Veblen would undertake to bring the economists and sociologists, if I would make a similar
undertaking to bring a number of scientists, technologists and engineers.
A number of these dinners were held at the Columbia University Club on West 43rd and other places in
New York. They were quite interesting at that time. Dr. Robinson used to sit over in the corner and
make notes, and he wrote his book ' 'The Mind in the Making" from notes taken at those dinner
Veblen and a small group, mostly economists associated with him, were trying to write articles on the
American social structure when we came along and introduced our concepts of technology and energy
Veblen wrote a series of articles for the Dial Magazine.
They were later incorporated and printed as a book under the title of ' " Engineers and the Price
The Price System, as you may be aware, was Technocracy's term and not Veblen's. The last article
(both in the Dial and then later in the book Veblen called " ' Memorandum on a Practicable Soviet of
Technicians") we disagreed with, because our analysis contended that social change on this Continent
would take an entirely different pattern and would not be analogous to the development in any other
part of the world. It would be peculiar and endemic to the technological development of this Continent.
Our association with Veblen and his dry sense of humor was rewarding, but at the same time it was
slightly disappointing, chiefly because he didn't have the energy or the initiative, due to ill health, to
entertain a great departure from his academic background. These remarks are not to be construed as
indicating that there had been a personal break with Thorstein Veblen; there was not. The New School
for Social Research got underway in a few rooms in one of the old set-back buildings on West 23rd St.,
now occupied by the giant apartment buildings of London Terrace.
Mrs. Dorothy Whitney's donations to the New School for Social Research were really a subsidy to pay
Thorstein Veblen an income as faculty member of this organization.
Thorstein Veblen, in a meeting in my apartment in New York City, said I was the only one that had kept
him up until 3:30 in the morning.
The group around Veblen became frightened about the ideas and social implications of Technocracy,
back then, in 1919; they were frightened because in their eyes it became too revolutionary, and they
drifted toward the liberalism that is now a prime exhibit of the New School for Social Research and
other accredited educational institutions.
In 1919-1920, Mrs. Agnes Delima was my stenographer and secretary in the Technical Alliance. She
later became the secretary for the corporation of the New School for Social Research, a board member.
The last several articles of the Dial Magazine were undoubtedly written by Veblen because of the
contact of the Veblen group with the Technical Alliance. They were attempting to ride what they thought
might be ' 'the wave of the future" and Veblen in the last few articles in the Dial was undoubtedly
going along to some extent with the master minding of one Ardzrooni.
He was one of the famous Ardzrooni brothers, raisin kings of California, who was engaged in acquiring a
university degree late in life and was undoubtedly magnanimous in his considerations in furthering
special educational projects and was in those early days associated with the Veblen group. And so it
turns out that there are even raisins in the pie.
Your fourth question, ' 'Was Technocracy incorporated in the State of New York?" Yes, it was. Our
attorneys who secured the incorporation were Cadwallader, Wickersham and Taft.
The fifth question, also on page one of your letter of August 17, ' ' in regard to the use of physical
force," you stated, ' ' it was June of 1933 and it was during the Continental Convention on Technocracy.
You were quoted as saying, 'Technocracy would gain its end by use of force and bayonets.'
As we stated in other communications, no such statement has ever been made by me or by
Our original declaration at that convention, and which since has been printed in our literature far and
wide, was ' ' that Technocracy would never ask the public of these United States and Canada to indulge
in either ballots or bullets." Quite a different statement from what you claim I was quoted as saying.
On page two of your letter of August 17, you state ' ' another factor which has struck me as being of
some consequence has been the similarity between the organization chart of the Technate and the
Wobbly Wheel. I also notice that in a pamphlet put out by the All America Technological Society in 1933
that their organizational structure would fit somewhere between the two. Would you care to comment
We do not see any resemblance, as the Organizational Chart stretches across the wall of a good sized
building, and is capable of extension and expansion. We never had any Wobbly Wheel at the time we
drew the schematic organization of a Technate. We see no resemblance whatsoever.
After all, Technocracy was not responsible for the formation of the All American Technological Society in
This organization was dreamed up by General Wood, head of Sears Roebuck, Major General Westervelt,
vice president of Sears Roebuck, in charge of production, Blythe and Co., whom you might call the
Stone-Webster of the Middle West, and Mail of the Mall Tool. Leaving out Major General Westervelt,
they were a pretty reactionary crowd.
That was the organization that secured swank offices on the mezzanine floor of the Morrison Hotel, with
secretaries and stenographers and hired the editor of a Chicago newspaper to be publicity director.
The All American Technological Society was only one of almost 30 organizations in the United States
that came into being from Mobile, Alabama, and Los Angeles, Calif., Seattle, Minneapolis, Chicago, New
York and other cities, all trying to climb aboard the band wagon.
There was even a wealthy doctor who incorporated the Technocracy Political Party in the state of
Illinois, and had sound trucks out blaring the good news to the citizens of that state. There was a slew
of publications, some on simple newsprint, and up to magazines printed with photographs in color, none
of which originated with Technocracy Inc. and none of which had the approval of or sponsorship of
Seldom has there been assembled, as there was in the ballroom of the Morrison Hotel, such a ludicrous
assemblage of so many different kinds offish, all trying to nibble at the same bait. Technocracy did not
bury them, they buried themselves. Technocracy would have loved to have had the money spent by the
All American Technological Society and others in promoting the so-called convention on Technocracy in
1933 at the Hotel Morrison in Chicago, Illinois. We could have put it to better use.
The seventh Question. " ' which seems to me to be quite important was the one having to do
with whether you influenced FDR at all during World War II. And here I have in mind the ads which
appeared in a number of newspapers and apparently over the radio calling upon FDR to appoint you
Director General of Defense. I would like to restate question number twelve, March 6. 1 ran into the
suggestion that your distribution system was somewhat like the Army. Would you comment on this?
This is of primary importance to me because of the question of value in a distribution system."
There were a few ads placed asking for my appointment, that FDR appoint me as Director General of
Defense. These ads were due to over-enthusiasm and exuberance of members of Technocracy on the
Pacific Coast. You do not mention the fact that there was a great campaign of Total Conscription
advertisements placed in every major daily from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast, in Canada and United
States, full page advertisements for Total Conscription of Men, Machines, Materiel and Money; also,
hundreds of leaflets were printed and programs were put on radio in most of the major cities, from the
Atlantic to the Pacific, not once but a number of times.
The number of copies of ads printed by the full page in newspapers alone exceeded 14,000,000 copies.
It was endorsed and approved by labor unions and other organizations in various parts of the country.
The largest single local union of UAW, in Detroit, approved the Total Conscription program unanimously,
20,000 or so members.
The advertisements on the Director General of Defense were peanuts, were insignificant and were
stopped by order of CHQ of Technocracy Inc.
The full page advertisement on Total Conscription was written by me. It is amazing, if you wish to go
into something that has an interesting sociological impact. You might investigate the Technocracy
Program of Total Conscription further, you might find it significant.
Technocracy's program of Total Conscription was first made public at the Western Conference of
Municipalities at Yorktown, Saskatchewan, June 1st to 4th, 1940.
It was this program that resulted in action subsequently taken by the Minister of Justice, the Honorable
Ernest LaPointe of Canada, when 16 days after the Yorktown release the Order in Council was issued
and tabled declaring Technocracy banned because we were inimical to the conduct of the war.
Strange paradox, isn't it? The Honorable MacKenzie King agreed in a pre-election Liberal Party caucus,
and promised the Roman Catholic, French Canadian, Quebec members that conscription would not be
introduced nor considered by the MacKenzie King Government of the Dominion of Canada. Therefore,
the Quebec group forced MacKenzie King into accepting a ban upon an organization which wasn't of his
own motivation, and it is highly amusing that the Honorable MacKenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada,
in the midst of the war, on October 12, 1943, unconditionally lifted the ban on Technocracy and re-
instated the organization to its previous status, without any limiting restrictions.
One of the most vociferous attacks on Technocracy in Canada, prior to the Order in Council, was the
originally-named Catholica-Fascista Francais, later known as the Bloc-Populaire, led by Adrean Arcand.
Mayor Houde of Montreal and Adrean Arcand spent most of the war in a concentration camp under
sentence by the Canadian Government.
Kindly do not confuse my name with one Major Scott, no relation of mine, who was one of Adrian
Arcand's chief lieutenants.
After all, Technocracy has never attempted to advise, influence, persuade or cajole the political
leadership of any country on the North American Continent, nor anywhere else. We are somewhat
amused by Franklin Delano Roosevelt's placement in high position of 18 or more of our ex-members
and associates in his administration.
If they in any way influenced FDR that was certainly not because of any direction or initiative on the
part of Technocracy; it would be more likely solicitation on the part of the erstwhile members for the
political future of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and their own enhancement.
Your question nine states: ' "Were there any members of Technocracy Inc. who moved from the IWW
into Technocracy from the latter part of 1932 until the early 40's. Did any Wobblies find any satisfaction
in the Technocratic Movement? I have in mind Ben H. Williams.
I am not sure he is the same Ben Williams who was active in the IWW, but I do know that there was a
man called Ben H. Willians in both movements. Would you care to comment on this and would there be
any other people who might be involved in both movements. "
There were only two members of Technocracy who had been associated with the IWW.
They did not move from the IWW into Technocracy.
They merely happened to be in certain geographical locations and they moved and joined Sections of
Technocracy, not in the same area, but considerable distance apart. We had no knowledge of them, or
their past association, nor had ever heard of them prior to their joining Technocracy.
One was the Ben Williams which you mentioned in your question nine. Both of these members were
dismissed from Technocracy for conduct unbecoming a Technocrat.
As to the question of whether any Wobbly found satisfaction in the Technocratic movement, if they did
they would not have been dismissed from Technocracy. Technocracy is the antithesis of the program
and philosophy of the Industrial Workers of the World.
It never has had anything in common, and any member of any organization that joined Technocracy we
were willing to accept as members provided they were citizens of the United States and were not
members of any political party and had no criminal record, and were still considered to be legally
Over three thousand members of the Masonic Order have joined Technocracy over the years, as have
over one hundred known socialists, and an even greater number of pseudo-fascists.
It would be just as pertinent to ask -- did the many Masons who joined Technocracy find any
satisfaction in the Organization? If they did, they found it as citizens and Members of Technocracy and
not as Masons.
Technocracy has had more trouble getting rid of people than it had in acquiring new members. Many of
our officers and Members have joined Technocracy with the avowed purpose of proving Technocracy
incorrect, and, over the years, they have signally failed to achieve their original purpose and became
some of our most loyal and dedicated Members.
We have no knowledge of any other people who might be involved in both movements with the
exception of one, Ralph Chaplin. Ralph Chaplin visited me in my apartment, if I remember correctly,
sometime in September, 1919. Ralph Chaplin was a member of the IWW and was poet, writer and
editor of their publication. In 1948 Ralph Chaplin had completed a book entitled, " ' Wobbly -- the
Rough-and-Tumble Story of an American Radical," a book made possible by the grant of the Newbury
Fellowship in Midwestern Studies by the Newbury Library to Ralph Chaplin. The book is 435 pages in
length. On page 295 he mentions, " ' Not the least interesting person I met on my trip was Howard
Scott We discussed at length Thorstein Veblen's 'Soviet of Engineers' and its relation to the
'Industrial Commonwealth,' basic in the I.W.W. credo. Howard Scott and I spent an entire evening at
his Greenwich Village studio apartment discussing the proposed 'Industrial Encyclopedia,' which the
Wobblies had dreamed up in Cook County Jail.'
This is very interesting, in that Ralph Chaplin in writing a book of this kind wishes to give credence and
importance to his position and the doctrines of the IWW. We did not spend more than a few minutes on
the IWW credo or the ' " Soviet of Engineers" or the ' " Industrial Encyclopedia." Very little time was
taken in that. On page 296 he states: " "All the time he was discoursing so plausibly about teardrop
automobiles, flying wing airplanes, and technological unemployment, I was looking at the other side of
the studio where an appalling phallic watercolor painting was displayed among blueprints and graphs on
a big easel.
Evidently the 'Great Scott' was a man of diversified interests." Once again, this is quite interesting. I
never had a painting, phallic or otherwise, and if I had had a painting I certainly would not mix it up
with blue prints and mathematical charts. On the same page (296), the last sentence of the second
paragraph, he states: " 'All this was done before Howard Scott came to Chicago to direct the I.W.W.'s
short-lived Research Department."
This again is very interesting, because we had our Technical Alliance in operation in the city of New York
and never went to Chicago to direct the IWW's short lived Research Department, or anything else in the
city of Chicago.
Further on in the same volume, on page 359, he states: ' " When Technocracy swept the country as a
possible panacea, I supported it editorially. I even helped to organize Howard Scott's 'Technological
Congress' during Chicago's Worlds Fair. But, at the same time, I was concentrating on the technique of
a general strike which would enable labor to defend itself against inevitable civil war and armed
insurrection. This program, I thought, would make it possible for the workers of America to defeat not
only capitalism but any Communist, Fascist, or Nazi substitute that might be offered.
Howard Scott wasn't very enthusiastic about the general strike idea. He was wearing a well-tailored
gray suit now with a monad in the buttonhole, and all the technocrats were saluting him in public."
This is another statement of Ralph Chaplin's that has no basis whatsoever in substance or in fact.
Neither Howard Scott nor the Technocrats organized the Technological Congress in Chicago at the
Morrison Hotel. This Congress was organized by and publicized by the All American Technological
Society which had no relationship to Technocracy whatsoever.
Ralph Chaplin, while he never joined Technocracy, at that time and slightly later, gave it an apparently
sincere and honest support. But we must point out that I did not wear a gray suit, nor did the
Technocrats wear gray suits in 1933, 1934, and 1936.1 wore a blue suit in all those years. We have the
data and the photographs to prove it.
No doubt this kind of statement probably comes from the ' ' quarterbacking" which the intellectuals of
the University of Chicago supplied him with.
So far as Technocracy is concerned, our contact with Ralph Chaplin in 1919 was renewed 14 years later,
and Ralph Chaplin, with all the enthusiasm and vigor that he had at his command regarding
Technocracy, never joined the Organization. He got into difficulties at a couple of meetings and we lost
contact with him completely.
In 1934 we published the pamphlet, ' "Science versus Chaos," which is substantially an address by me
before the national Technological Congress and Continental Convention on Technocracy at Hotel
Morrison, June, 1933. This pamphlet was first published by the thousands in Chicago, and it was the
first piece of literature that I had to take with me on the first Continental tour in 1934. Ralph Chaplin
did a beautiful job in writing a foreword -- an introduction, to the said pamphlet, which we hereby quote
SOMETHING NEW UNDER THE SUN
Technocracy -- new, startling, and fundamental -- has invaded the minds of North
Americans with unparalleled positive ness and force.
Its original research summary, a simple statement of facts about the critical period in which
we find ourselves, startled the world. The questions it posed still remain unanswered.
Technocracy not only made the American people "fact conscious,' but confronted the entire
Continent with the inevitability of fundamental social change.
Technocracy's position is based on facts, not rhetoric. Its message has cut deep. It has
reached more intelligent and functionally important citizens in all walks of life than any other
organization, and continues to do so.
Technocracy's scientific approach to the social problem is unique, and its method is
completely new. It speaks the language of science, and recognizes no authority but the
In Technocracy we see science banishing waste, unemployment, hunger, and insecurity of
In Technocracy we see science replacing an economy of scarcity with an era of abundance.
In Technocracy we see functional competence displacing grotesque and wasteful
incompetence, facts displacing guesswork, order displacing disorder, industrial planning
displacing industrial chaos.
Technocracy is the extension of science to build a civilization worthy of the intelligence of
Technocracy concerns itself with the Continental area of North America alone. Technocracy
marks a turning point in American history -- the birth of a greater America. Technocracy
contains all the elements out of which great movements are made.
Howard Scott, founder and Director-in-Chief of Technocracy Inc. presents in the following
pages a diagnosis of the existing disorder and an outline of a New America.
It is interesting to note that Ralph Chaplin never mentioned this, as an enthusiastic approval of
Technocracy, at any time in his volume. He wrote this eulogistic approval of Technocracy 14 years after
the first meeting, and 15 years after that he writes a book.
In that long 15 years, Technocracy had not had any contact with him and had never heard from him.
The Organization had been in existence, and Ralph Chaplin could very easily have contacted us, but
apparently it was his privilege not to do so.
We were uninformed and unaware of either his manuscript or his book until years after its publication.
We regret the bias and the incorrect emphasis and errors in his statements made in the book
~ ' Wobbly," by Ralph Chaplin.
They are incorrect in substance and in fact.
You seem to be laboring under the misapprehension that there is some connection with other
organizations of the United States and more specifically, the IWW. Neither the Technical Alliance nor
Technocracy Inc. nor any of its original members were ever associated with any political party or
organization, Republican, Democratic, conservative, liberal, Socialist, Communist or Fascist
organizations, nor any labor organizations, including the IWW, the Industrial Workers of the World.
The technological concepts of Technocracy are completely beyond any of the political and social
philosophies, from Adam Smith, Ricardo, Proudhon, Bakunin, Karl Marx, Lenin and various other
promulgators of rightist and leftist political philosophies.
Technocracy Inc. never had any illusions about the operating physical structure of the social system on
the North American Continent. We never had time or the emotional bias to engage in psychopathic
hostilities toward the capitalists, the landed gentry nor the bourgeoisie.
Neither were we antipathetic nor hostile to any labor or radical movements.
As far as Technocracy was concerned, both attitudes of the so-called radical left and reactionary right
were all alike, mere misadventures in the hostilities of the oncoming social conflict.
Technocracy never was for the workers against the capitalists, or for the capitalists against the workers.
To us, Karl Marx's slogan, ' 'Workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains," was
an ironic bad joke, as despicable as the capitalists' slogan that ' 'free enterprise can provide the best of
all possible worlds."
As the technological design for the operation of a Continent would eliminate human toil, and the
' 'worker" would become as extinct as the Dodo bird, it axiomatically follows that as any Continental
social system eliminates toil and the ' 'worker," all of the other proprietary rights and proprietors will
join the ' 'workers" in the limbo of the forgotten past, because when toil and the workers are disposed
of, the bourgeoisie become extinct.
All of the political philosophies from Leninist-Marxism of the left to the European Catholic-Fascism of the
right extol the corporate structure and attempt to distribute land to the peasants and freeze agricultural
workers to the soil.
Modern technology never got anywhere as its beginnings in the industrial revolution were meager and
blockaded by the limiting concepts of those who introduced machine processes as adjuncts to human
labor in the acquisition of greater profits.
Under human toil and hand tools, the annual increment of production was so low each year that a
major investment required a century for the amortization of principal and interest; or to state it another
way, the re-investment of capital in capital goods could occur approximately once in a century.
Private enterprise in these United States and elsewhere today are demanding that the technologists and
engineers design equipment and continuous processes capable of amortizing out the interest and
principal in a much shorter time. They do not realize it, but what they actually are doing is selling their
own system short.
It is really ironic that the fastest returns are obtained of capital goods by those investments which
install the latest in modern technology. We have today in the United States equipment which, if
operated at 75% or more of capacity, will amortize out the millions of dollars of investment in 5 1/4
This is a capital re-investment rate of around 960 times in a century instead of one. The question here
to ask is whether Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, General Eisenhower, Winston Churchill,
Josef Stalin, or John F. Kennedy, -- did any of them or all of them have the slightest knowledge of the
factors underlying our technological progression?
On the other side of the picture, did Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Sorel, Lenin, Mao Tse Tung -- were they
capable of operating in this field of knowledge?
The answer is that both collections of persons, the so-called political philosophers and political
governing heads of the last 60 years, have possessed no fundamental knowledge of the economies they
were attempting to manage or to philosophically analyze.
Not one of the array of figures on the international scene has had sufficient knowledge of the modulus
and calculus of design to build an efficient privy on wheels.
The situation in this respect might be amusing if it weren't so pathetic.
The Russians wasted 15 years of their national energies in the schismatic doctrinaire battles between
those who spent their time advocating world revolution and those who wanted to interpret Marx for
Russia and the Russians.
If the Russians had been able to orientate their technology 10 or 12 years before they did, the fascist
armies of Europe would have been defeated at the Russian borders, and it would have been Western
Europe that would have been devastated.
In Europe, World War I disintegrated dynasties and empires. Violence and chicanery took over. The
Cordon Sanitaire backed by all the reactionary forces of Europe, political and ecclesiastic, were about to
nurture the soil for fascism. Western European fascism originated in Europe in 1919, and fascism had
its movements in practically every country west of Russia.
Benito Mussolini in Italy and Adolf Hitler did not create fascism; they were created by it, and the result
was that you had the Sinarquista in Portugal, the Falangista in Spain, the Croix de Feu and Cagoulard in
Belgium and France, the Stahlhelm in Austria, the Knights of St. Michael and the Iron Guard in
Roumania, Fascists in Italy, Ustachl in Yugoslavia, the Arrow-Close of Hungary and the Nazis in
There were similar developments in Poland, Norway, Lithuania and elsewhere.
United States revived Germany after World War I with the Young Plan and the Dawes Plan and other
assistance. After World War 11, United States poured billions into Europe under the Marshall Plan.
Since the war, the figures reported that $104,000,000,000 have been spent abroad by the United
Our policies have revived private enterprise and upheld reactionary regimes but they haven't solved any
physical problems of any part of the world nor solved our physical problems at home. They still remain
facing us and today are greater than ever within history.
In the early days of the Technical Alliance, we were visited by all kinds of people, from Americans of the
upper levels of finance and industry to a raft of writers, so called radicals and leftists.
In a sense we technologists and engineers were somewhat naive at that time, in that any knowledge
that we might have had of any of the movements was purely cursory and not from intention. All of the
movements and all of the literature had nothing to offer Technocracy.
Technocracy was proposing a technological re-design of the Continent in a closed-field of operation.
We, as an organization, were not interested in preserving the status quo, nor were we imbued with any
conspiracy to destroy it.
We were not concerned with wasting our time trying to capture the entire scientific and engineering
profession of this Continent as members.
We knew only too well that if every technologist and engineer designed the equipment of tomorrow to
operate at higher speeds with greater energy consumption per unit of time, and less energy per unit
produced of products or services, that they did not have to be Technocrats, that, in their professional
way, they were doing their best to behave as if they were.
It is therefore obvious that none of the political philosophies, right or left or center, and none of the
social movements or labor organizations had anything to offer Technocracy.
In fact all of them were impedimenta in the pathway toward tomorrow.
They had nothing to give us because we were involved in an original piece of research in a unique
projection that had never been proposed before.
These movements had nothing to give us; they might in some way attempt to imitate us, to borrow
from us, or to block us, but in the main they made no real attempt to understand Technocracy's design
and social consequences.
We received far greater recognition abroad and more serious study by scientists, technologists and
engineers in other lands.
They even proposed to extend our energy determinants to a world basis as suggested by the title of
one engineering publication of Czechoslavakia, ' ' Der Welt Energie."
Technocracy can be applied to other Continents, but as the soil, water, climate, geographical
conformation and natural resources differ with each continental area, the social resultants, while they
would be enormously advanced over anything today, would not be all equal or the same. The
differences would occur because of the differences of the physical constituents of the continent and
their energy factors.
In other words, Technocracy is applicable to any continental area of the world, but, as stated distinctly,
socially they wouldn't have the same returns, nor would they all have pink cheeks.
We regret that the By-Laws and General Regulations of Technocracy Inc., and the policies in general
prevent us from giving you any figures on membership of any period of Technocracy's history. This has
always been the policy of Technocracy. We hope that the preceding will give a satisfactory response to
your questions and enable you to complete your dissertation in a more extensive way.
Very truly yours,